Saturday Snippets…10th April 2021…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets…where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary…

I have been busy tending my little seedlings this week they sure sprout quickly here…It has been one of those weeks this week…I have even struggled to blog my heart is not in it at the moment…it has been a sad week …devastating may be a better word which puts my burst pipe into some perspective sadly a dear blogging friend lost her soulmate and my heart breaks for her…thinking of you Debby Gies at this sad time…

Then yesterday the nation of Great Britain and the Commonwealth lost a devoted servant and husband of our beloved Queen Elizabeth…The end of an era in many ways…An outspoken man who told it how it was and a devoted husband who was always at his wife’s side…married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years Prince Phillip was the longest-serving consort in British history – he was due to turn 100 in two months’ time, on 10 June.

Prince Philip’s concern for young people inspired him to create the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, and he supported more than 800 charities and good causes – focusing on his interests in wildlife conservation, technology and sport.

Since the 1940s Prince Philip was an ever-present figure in the life of the UK and leaves behind his own considerable legacy.

R.I.P Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh…

That’s all from me today…x

 

 

 

 

Fruity Friday…Bamboo…

Welcome to Fruity Friday where I am showcasing one of my favourites and a very versatile plant and that is the Bamboo…

Bamboo…(Mai Pai)…is grown everywhere here and is one of the most versatile plants I know…We have all seen those pictures of a cute Panda eating bamboo, haven’t we…?…

There are nearly forty different species of bamboo growing in Thailand and with its wide variety of use, this plant could be considered the most important Thai plant. With bamboo being so common that we can see it everywhere, we take it for granted and tend to forget how much we rely on it daily, not only in the villages but in the cities as well.

bamboo-1028699_640

Bamboo is one of the most iconic plants, with some species growing over thirty metres in height, while other species have culms that can hold more weight than steel! That is why you can see bamboo stems used in construction work all over the country. Thai workers rely on its strength to build houses, apartment buildings, hotels, shopping malls and more.

Bamboo shoots are also very nice eaten…Bamboo shoots (no mai) are used as the main ingredient in a variety of traditional Thai dishes, they can be cooked, pickled, and eaten raw. Bamboo shoots have a high amount of vitamins A, B1, B2 and C.

See the little shoot peeking its head above the ground this is what we look for and when peeled they look like the second image…Always available year-round on the markets a very healthy vegetable which is a staple of the Thai diet…

Bamboo is also the fastest-growing plant in the world, the record holder is bamboo that was measured to grow 121 cm in 24 hours! …It really is an all-around wonder plant…

Although many of the plants look like a tree it actually belongs to the group of woody perennial evergreen plants in the true grass family Poaceae.

A well-known phenomenon of this versatile plant is its flowering — a spectacular sight that is seen once in every 40-50 years — after which the plant dies.

Although the flowering provides an abundant supply of bamboo fruits, it brings in uninvited guests — the rush of rats. What’s in the fruit that makes it a favourite among these rodents? A study primarily by researchers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI), Kerala, tries to answer.

After blossom, flowers produce fruit (called “bamboo rice” in parts of India and China). Bamboo Rice, also known as Mulayari is actually the seed of a dying bamboo shoot that is produced at the end of its life span. … The reason this rice is commonly not available is that it takes many years for an aged plant to flower from which this short-grain rice is extracted.

It is cooked like any other variety of rice and has a very sweet taste. The difference lies in its texture once cooked. It is chewy and moist and is often used to make khichdi. Khichdi is a healthy Indian dish made with rice and moong lentils. Various other ingredients like ghee (clarified butter), cumin seeds, ginger and asafoetida are optionally used depending on the preferences. This simple and humble dish is the first food for babies and people recovering from sickness.

The recipe for today is a Chicken Curry with bamboo shoots…

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm boneless, skinless Chicken Thigh Meat cut into cubes
  • 1-3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup bamboo shoots cut into thin strips…canned ones are fine
  • 2 – 3 Thai Chillies
  • 1 cup  Thai Sweet Basil…Horapa
  • 5 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 2 tsp Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Let’s Cook!

Heat half the coconut milk in a wok or pan, then stir in the curry. Cook it on low heat until it is thick and well blended.

Add the chicken meat and fry it in the curry for about 5 minutes, then add the other half of the coconut milk.
Add the bamboo shoots, red chillies, and pieces of kaffir lime leaf. Cook for 10 minutes, then let it cool down slightly and stir in the basil and serve.

Enjoy!

This curry is quick to cook and delicious,

Bamboo …can be sliced and boiled, sautéed or braised and served as an accompaniment to meat and fish. They can be slow-cooked with other vegetables or stir-fried. The crunchy texture of young, tender bamboo shoots makes them a great choice served as an hors d’oeuvre or stand-alone vegetable.

Healthwise bamboo is a powerhouse of proteins, carbohydrates, fibre and minerals. These shoots are very low on fat and sugar making it an ideal snack for diabetics. The presence of fibre in large quantities known as nutraceuticals helps in dealing with gut issues.

Thank you very much for reading this post…if you have already cooked with bamboo then you know how lovely it is and if you haven’t and get the chance to try it…Enjoy it is lovely…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health A-Z – Acne – Teenage and Adults by Sally Cronin

Another great post from Sally which covers Acne in teenagers and adults…I have had friends who have suffered badly and it is not nice at all…I hope you don’t but if you do or know someone who does then this is worth passing on…#recommendedread.


https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/04/08/smorgasbord-health-column-family-health-a-z-acne-teenage-and-adults-by-sally-cronin/

CarolCooks2…Week 8…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Vegan Non Dairy Cream and Cream Slices.

 

 

 

Hello and welcome to my kitchen…my hot and steamy kitchen I will add at the moment… It’s bread-making day today…

Today I am showing you how easy it is to make a dairy-free cream...the vegan tag and dairy-free tag is a bonus as we are neither it is just something I make…  for starters cream is very expensive here and coconut cream is not…

Coconuts are two a penny they are so plentiful…Coconut water or milk can be purchased fresh you can watch it being made while you wait and the cartons are 100% just milk or cream no additives and the man of the house who loves his cream does not know the difference…

Now here the thing all the coconut milk I get here is 100% not so apparently when purchased in many stores in the UK  unless you buy from an Asian store…The max % if you buy from big stores is about 60% and some of them are the same brand I buy here which are 100%…

When my son told me this I was appalled but as he said it is cheaper for manufacturers to add guar gum and the like … for example coconut extract (56 per cent), water, stabiliser (E466), emulsifier (E435), antioxidant (citric acid). E466 is another name for carboxymethyl cellulose. E435 is another name for polysorbate 60. 

Mine here 100% Coconut Milk…

Box cover coconut milk

Kitchen Tip:  Try to find a brand that only contains coconut milk 100% if you can’t and use one of the other brands be careful not to let the liquid boil as it will separate. 

I am trying to cut down on added sugars and fat, and I have seen many recipes for making a non-dairy cream with coconut cream that I thought it was time I tried it as this is the home of coconuts…haha…

Coconut milk is in the fridge as are the stainless steel pot and whisk blades…Once cold we are ready to go…Wow..that was easy it whipped up in about 2 minutes if that… I added nothing and it was very nice even hubby who loves fresh cream and lots of it had to admit it tasted good…I think it is easier here as our coconut milk is 100% no additives at all…I will be making this in future and it is so much healthier.

STRAWBERRIES AND COCONUT CREAM

A non-dairy cream that would go with any dessert. I am impressed and I think any vegan/vegetarian or even me who is neither will all be in agreeance at how good this cream is…A lovely non-dairy cream.

Perfect for cream Slices…

fresh cream Jam Puff pastry

Before I go I would just like to ask…Just out of interest I would love to know how many of you make all/some or occasionally make food from scratch…I was doing some research on cooking from scratch and certain foods that were mentioned amazed me…foods in my kitchen we just routinely make/cook…

Take potatoes for example...who buys Ready-made mash or even worse those flakes of potato(or) is it… that you reconstitute? Frozen Chips?Frozen Roast Potatoes, Potato Salad,? Ready peeled potatoes? 

I know potatoes have to be peeled…hubby’s job in this house…but it takes less than 5 mins…to cook mashed potatoes… takes 15-20 minutes…

You can cook any amount enough for one or for four people…the taste… there can be no comparison but additives and chemicals or fillers have no place in food as far as I am concerned…

Your thoughts on what you make and what you buy and why?…

Thank you for reading and please let me have your thoughts and what you cook from scratch…

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen today…my dearest wish is that more people would count chemicals instead of calories and cost…Carol xx

 

The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter C…

 

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet…WHERE the middle letter is C…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing…my followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…so I hope you have started brainstorming Chel…haha x

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Brawn, Cabbage, and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and its sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…

Artichoke:

The globe artichoke is the immature bud of a thistle… a flower…The leaves are called bracts and the fuzzy centre called a choke which sits on top of the delicious meaty core which is called the heart the part that is completely edible.

As the artichoke was the subject of a recent post please click this link for recipes and more information on the delicious Artichoke…

Ashcake:

Ashcake (also known as Ash bread; Fire cake) is a type of bread baked over a layer of heated stones or sand and covered over in hot ashes, a practice still found principally in Arabian countries, especially among Bedouins.

It is also a rustic Vietnamese cake made from glutinous rice then covered with the ash of shell rice and eaten with honey.

Avocado:

The Avocado is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed…highly nutritious it contains more potassium than a banana. Also known as alligator pears to butter fruit…from guacamole dips to salads, wraps, smoothies and even brownies… they are included in almost everything now as deemed to be so nutritious…a superfood…me I love guacamole and don’t mind them in salads or a wrap but not in a smoothie and most definitely not in my chocolate mousse…

Bacon:

Now bacon is another thing and I could probably eat bacon with almost anything…with a Sunday morning breakfast, in a burger, a quiche, jalapeno poppers, wrapped around a sausage so many uses…even crisped and crumbled over or in ice cream…

Biscuit:

In England, the biscuit is a biscuit think a dipping in your tea biscuit however MY American cousins call a biscuit what we Brits call a scone…go figure… of course, we are correct…

Biscuits with grits and crispy bacon for breakfast I quite like however a nice scone with clotted cream and jam is a wonderful thing…

Carcass:

Chicken carcasses make wonderful stocks and soups…even a turkey carcass my mother used to make a beautiful soup with the turkey carcass…I learnt from an early age to waste nothing…I had a good teacher…my mum x

In my opinion, Thais make the best soups and stocks their Chicken Noodle Soup is loved and known the world over…

Chicken:

A low-fat healthy meat providing it comes from chooks which are allowed to roam free and not fed chemicals…Eaten and used by cooks around the world be it steamed, fried, roasted, tossed on the barbie…used in curries or with pasta, potatoes or rice it is a versatile low-cost nutritious meat.

Chicory:

Used for centuries in cooking and traditional medicines …chicory is also used to make a coffee alternative does anyone remember Camp Coffee? The pale yellow leaves are also often used in salads…the plant also has beautiful blue flowers.

Cocoa:

Although I don’t drink it often I love a drink of hot cocoa…a highly concentrated powder made from chocolate liquor—a paste prepared from cocoa beans, the fruit of the cacao—and used in beverages and as a flavouring ingredient. Cocoa is the key ingredient in chocolate and chocolate confections.

Cracker;

A dry, thin, crispy baked bread (usually salty or savoury,..eaten with hard cheese or cream cheese they are a nice snack.

Cupcake:

Cupcakes now are nothing like the cupcakes my mother used to make they are now in some cases quite decorative and even used as celebration cakes or wedding cakes such has the humble cupcake evolved.

Gnocchi:

Gnocchi beautifully made can be a glorious thing or just something you would rather not eat…it is not pasta as is often thought It is actually a dumpling made out of potatoes.

You can serve gnocchi with a variety of sauces and toppings such as cheese, tomato sauce, cream or pesto, just like pasta.

Ketchup:

Tomato ketchup…made with tomatoes, sugar, vinegar/acetic acid and spices and is not to be confused with tomato sauce although as a Brit I have always called tomato ketchup …tomato sauce and still do…Although the recipe is different for the UK…we have never called it ketchup but sauce.

Mocha:

Mocha is a high-quality type of coffee made from a specific coffee bean. It’s easily confused with the flavoured drink also called a mocha, which combines coffee and chocolate. Mocha coffee beans are from the plant species called Coffee arabica, and it was originally only grown in Mocha, Yemen.

Muscovy Duck:

Muscovy Duck is the only domesticated duck that isn’t descended from Mallard ducks. … When young, these ducks are considered very good eating, with lean, tender meat, with a taste more like veal than other duck. They have larger breasts than Common Ducks. Usually, just the breast meat is sold, which is quite lean.

Nacho:

A tortilla chip topped with melted cheese and often additional savoury toppings (such as hot peppers or refried beans)

Oatcake:

Is a type of flatbread cooked on a griddle or baked in an oven…Oatmeal is the main ingredient and it can be enjoyed with a sweet or savoury topping for example cream cheese and smoked salmon or bananas and cinnamon.

Pancake:

Pancakes some love them thick and I like mine thin and crispy with lemon and sugar although I am coming around to pancakes with maple syrup.

Pecan:

A smooth shelled brown nut similar to a walnut…the pecan’s distinct flavour and texture is the result of its high levels of monosaturated oil – in fact, it’s the fattiest of all nuts. It goes well in both savoury and sweet dishes, most famously pecan pie, a classic recipe from the American south.

Poached:

If something is poached it is cooked in a liquid…it is a gentle way to cook and an ideal cooking method for eggs, fish and fruits…the cooking liquid can be quite simply water as in poached eggs, milk, stock or wine…

Popcorn:

A popular snack that can be very healthy if air-popped and lightly seasoned or very unhealthy if popped in fat and loaded with calorific toppings…it can also be used to flavour ice cream…

Porcini:

An earthy, meaty flavoured mushroom…This mushroom is generally agreed by connoisseurs to be among the finest eating mushrooms…They can also be very expensive, particularly when fresh, although dried ceps tend to be of better value.

Radicchio:

Is part of the chicory family and often referred to as Italian chicory as it is used a lot in Italian cuisine.

It is grown as a leaf vegetable and usually has colourful white-veined red leaves that form a head. Radicchio has a bitter and spicy taste which mellows if it is grilled or roasted.

Tacos

A traditional Mexican dish that consists of a small tortilla topped with a filling and then folded.

Teacake:

Is a lightly fruited yeast-based bun that is generally split, toasted and buttered then served with tea…A British tradition.

Ricer:

A kitchen utensil with holes about the size of a grain of rice which is used to push soft food like potatoes through to make them very smooth and lump-free.

Yucca:

Yucca is one of the few roots which must be cooked as they contain cyanide…it is used in a variety of dishes in Latin American countries, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean Islands.

That’s all for today for the letter C…

Thank you so much for your visit I hope you have enjoyed the read…Please feel free to leave a comment as you know I love to chat…Love Carol xxx

 

Smorgasbord Health Column Revisited – What causes your cravings? – Part Four – Coal, Dirt and other strange stuff by Sally Cronin

In this post, I am exploring a sensation that has been blamed for our consumption or overconsumption of certain foods since we were old enough to make excuses! How often do we tell ourselves or others that ‘we crave’ chocolate, crisps, cheese, soda, fried food or even something non-food related… such as dirt or coal?

We tend to assume that our craving is a form of addiction that only one food or drink can satisfy, but in fact, it is more likely that it is our body reacting to a lack of an essential nutrient absent from our regular diet. Or that we are under stress and that has resulted in an imbalance in our hormone production.

To read the original post